Welcome! Let's Do Devotions Together!

Let's grow together!
Here's how God is using the daily readings from Jesus Calling to speak into my life.
What is He saying to YOU? Share it with someone & have a BLESSED day in Jesus!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Almighty Security System

"I am your strength and shield. I plan out each day and have it ready for you, long before you arise from bed... concentrate on staying in touch with Me. Refuse to waste energy by worrying... My Presence watches over you continually, protecting you from both known and unknown dangers...which is the best security system available." (32)
We have constructed our own methods of security. Alarm systems, hidden cameras, video surveillance, retirement plans, savings accounts, disaster supplies, emergency funds, gated communities, padlocks, dead bolts, police patrol or even the family dog! All of that, just to relieve our concerns for safety. We live in a world that threatens our safety and our peace of mind.
What a comfort to know that as God's children we can have an additional peace of mind believing that "the Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold...and I was saved from my enemies." (Ps. 18:2-3)
Breathing a bit more easy...dmc
PS - Happy Birthday to our precious daughter-in-love, Leslie Anne Colaw!

Saturday, January 30, 2016

The Gift of Meta-Cognition

"Worship Me only. Whatever occupies your mind the most becomes your god. Worries, if indulged, develop into idols. Anxiety gains a life of its own, parasitically infesting your mind." (31)
What a sobering, morbid picture! No wonder we need to guard our thoughts. (Is. 26:3, Phil. 4:7) This requires "meta-cognition," the ability to think about what we are thinking about. With God's help we can adjust the habitual thought patterns of our own mind. This is a wonderful gift God has given us. It helps us to test and realign our thoughts.
I love David's prayer, "Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive, hurtful way in me; lead me in the everlasting way." (Ps. 139:23-24)
I am so grateful that God can read my mind and heal my heart! Each time I switch my thoughts into "the everlasting way," there is great rejoicing.
"I rejoice when your mind turns toward Me. Guard your thoughts diligently; good thought-choices will keep you close to Me."
Thinking Thoughtfully...dmc

Friday, January 29, 2016

Taking Thoughts Captive

"Keep your focus on Me. I have gifted you with amazing freedom, including the ability to choose the focal point of your mind... Bring every thought captive to Me...lasso those (wandering) thoughts...into My Presence... I will guard you and keep you in perfect Peace, as you focus your mind on Me." (30)
When research was done on our brains' ability to successfully multi-task a surprising discovery was made. The results revealed that multi-tasking tends to "drain the brain's" ability to be efficient and creative. Basically, we do better when we hold on to one thought at a time and bring it to completion. So, thought by thought, we plot our day, ultimately our own destiny.
Good News! We have the "amazing freedom...to choose the focal point of our minds." We can "bring every thought captive, making it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5)
So, either our thoughts will take us captive or we will take our thoughts captive.
Captivated in Christ...dmc

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The "There & Aware" Promise of God

"I am with you always. These are the last words I spoke before ascending into heaven. I continue to proclaim this promise to all who will listen... center (your) life around this glorious promise... The fact that I am with you makes every moment of your life meaningful." (29)
Always there. Always aware. Jesus' rare, but true, promise to care for us! Even if I may be distracted, overwhelmed and uncertain. He is always attentively there.
I marvel at His ability to be totally tuned into me (including my flaws, weaknesses and failures) and yet He's totally committed to loving me! One would think that the more He came to know us, the more reasons He'd discover to keep us at a distance. However, it's just the opposite. For He longs to "never leave us or forsake us!" (Hebrews 13:5)
It reminds me of the attentive care given to my daddy in his final months.  A highly skilled team of home-health providers would come and go throughout the day offering support and creative new ways to care for him and to encourage mother.
God has an eternal care plan...a promise to always be there, to always be aware! One morning I slipped into his room while he and mother were doing their daily devotions together. He was praying a tender, fervent prayer between gasps of air delivered by the oxygen tank. There's no doubt...Jesus was THERE! And now, daddy is THERE, with Jesus!
Grateful for God's attentive care & eternal promise...dmc

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Certainly Certain Trust

"Trust is a golden pathway to heaven. When you walk on this path, you live above your circumstances... Dare to walk on the high road..." (28)
Have you noticed? There's not a big crowd on the "high road." Most will avoid the "road less traveled" and will take the "path of least resistance," following the more familiar "trail" of human reasoning, negative thought and skepticism!
Did you know.... ? By decisively incorporating the dimension of trust, we can radically be impacted relationally - "favor, good understanding and high esteem in the sight (or judgment) of God and man." (Prov.3:4, AMP)
Did you know...? When we choose "to trust" we are radically impacted physically - "health to your nerves, and marrow and moistening to your bones." (Prov.3:8)
Honestly, at times, I feel like trust is more of a thin thread that I'm hanging from than a path I'm walking on! But I've decided, I'd rather hang on that thin thread of trust than be deeply embedded in the mire of doubt. I know too many who have opted to be entrenched in that murky mire and I don't want to go THERE!!
I love the message of Avalon's song -
I Don't Want to Go (lyrics are included)
Copy & Paste - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOEOX_Rxm8E
Trust means I can be certainly and...
Securely Certain of Him ...dmc

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Challenging the 20% Crowd

"Give up the illusion that you deserve a problem-free life... This is a false hope! Instead of seeking perfection in this fallen world, pour your energy into seeking Me: The Perfect One... enjoy Me and glorify Me in the midst of adverse circumstances." (27)
Today's devo stresses a certain fact of life that's frustrated me many times... We WILL "have trouble!!" (John 16:33) It especially frustrates me in relationships. I want people to feel loved, understood and deeply appreciated. Even though I know better, I want this world to be a "happy heart" place, where everyone is having a "happy heart" day! (Prov. 15:13-15)
In recent years God has challenged me to have a grateful, "happy heart" even if things are not perfect and every encounter is not with another "happy heart!" Troubling circumstances and troubled people will certainly come along, sooner or later.
A few years ago we attended an event to hear a TV personality well known in Christian media. This particular event was not to be taped. The discussion was to be especially personal, relating some of the more painful experiences of the individual's ministry life. During the evening, I learned something that has helped me to deal with the troubling people that trouble our lives...
Based upon research, it was shared that, at any given moment there may be at least 20% of the people around you who will not necessarily like you! Why? Because at least 20% of those around us are not perceptively flexible. They do not have enough flex in their souls to be gracious and accepting of others who are different from what they prefer. Their thinking tends to be rigid, critical and solely based upon their personal preferences and skewed biases. So, we should not be surprised when one of our 20% shows up, speaks up or acts up around us!
Jesus Calling states that He is "less interested in right circumstances than in right responses to whatever comes your way." Jesus certainly had His share of the challenging 20% crowd! So, He certainly understands. We can trust Him with our hearts and with the other not-so-happy hearts that mess with our "happy hearts!" I want to be part of your 80% who genuinely love and appreciate you!
Praising God for my 80% and for YOU...dmc :-)

Monday, January 25, 2016

One Step Forward

"These quiet moments with me transcend time, accomplishing far more than you can imagine...see how abundantly I bless you and your loved ones... As you keep your focus on Me, I form you into the one I desire you to be... Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life...and the way before you will open up step by step."(26)
It's interesting how the next breath and the next step can be so close and yet so distant, all at the same time. My dear little daddy lived a full and rewarding life, but his next breath and next step had to be assisted most of his last few years. Grateful for a portable oxygen tank that helped him breathe and a trusty cane that steadied his step, he experienced life at a whole new pace. During his last few months, even his next words were halting, thoughts more confused. But, it was sweet one Sunday afternoon, we sang together...  the lyrics, the harmonies, were still beautifully, breath-fully HIS!
In our fast-paced, breathless lives, it's good to spend a little time with those who travel a little slower. A "God-breathed life" is a precious thing!
In contrast, today our delightful grandson, Nathan Joseph, celebrates his birthday. With breathless abandon, he will be full-speed-ahead, on the run, full of endless fun!
So, on this day I'm reaching out with both hands, transcending generations... One hand touches timeless eternity, the other, tomorrow's possibilities! Great Grandpa and Great Grandson meet on the bridge that spans across my heart.
Gratefully stepping forward...dmc

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Perils of Pearlers

"My Peace is the treasure of treasures: the pearl of great price. It is exquisitely costly, both for the Giver and the receiver." Matthew 13:46 (25)
"Adverse circumstances are normal in a fallen world. Expect them...!" So, how do we find the Pearl of Peace in the midst of such adversity?
Today's devo reminded me of several opportunities I've had in Hawaii to choose a shell, in hopes of finding a beautiful pearl. The history of pearlers (those who harvest pearls) is filled with great suffering. The dangers of diving, being drowned, attacked by sharks, weathering storms, wearing awkward, heavy helmets and managing equipment caused many to be lost at sea. Once the shells were gathered the process of finding a pearl was wearisome. Their hands were raw with cuts from handling hundreds of shells that had to then be boiled, creating a sickening odor, to find only 2 or 3 pearls! What a perilous task with minimal reward!
We live in an adverse, fallen world where Pearls of Peace are often hidden in hardship. Jesus, our "Pearl of Great Price," has promised to help us find Pearls of Peace in the midst of our trials and costly hardships. Only He knows what hidden "spiritual blessings come wrapped in trials."
Incidentally, I've learned that the ugliest shells usually contain the prettiest pearls! I have earrings and a necklace as proof!
A String of Pearls for His Glory...dmc

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Secret Smiles

"When your mind wanders while you are praying, don't be surprised or upset. Simply return your attention to Me. Share a secret smile with me, knowing that I understand. Rejoice in My Love for you." (24)
Years ago, my sweetly seasoned, godly mother taught me a great way to deal with wandering thoughts during my devotional times. She told me to capture those wandering thoughts on paper. Once it was written down (like tasks to be done) I could refocus much easier. That's been a great help, even when using a sophisticated iphone, because now that nagging thought has a place to rest.
No matter what's happening or where my thoughts may wander, when I share it with Jesus it helps me to rest in a "quiet and gentle spirit, which is pleasing to God."  (I Pet.3:4)  In all the distracting pleasures and pains of life, Jesus understands! So, as we share life with Him it pleases Him. Just imagine His pleasing smile resting on you as your thoughts are resting in Him!
I come from a family of quick and ready smiles. Even in the midst of tough situations, a secret subtle smile, a wink of reassurance and a kind uplifting word kept us going.  I enccourage you to do the same because... "This practice will enable you to attain a quiet and gentle spirit, which is pleasing to God."  (I Peter 3:4)  Yes, it's true...Jesus' presence often rests in a shared "secret smile."
Manifest His presence today through shared "secret smiles"!
Smiling at YOU...dmc

Friday, January 22, 2016

Trusting or Troubled

"Strive to trust Me in more and more areas of your life. Anything that tends to make you anxious is a growth opportunity. Instead of running away from these challenges, embrace them...I am sovereign...trust Me in all situations. Don't waste energy regretting the way things are or thinking about what might have been." (23)
There is a decisive difference between a trusting brain and a troubled brain. Different neuro-chemicals are released into the brain, impacting it in vastly different ways with different areas of the brain being engaged in the processing. It's no wonder that two different people can experience the same event and yet have two every different interpretations depending on whether they are operating out of trust or not.
I experienced this, seated between two other passengers, on a flight to the east coast. One was a seasoned traveler, casually browsing through the Sky Mall catalog, the other was anxiously peering out at the horizontal streaks of rain running across the window. My window-seat-partner was experiencing rain for the first time at 37,000 feet going 500 miles per hour! (At that point rain "races"...it doesn't "fall!")
While experience can certainly be a trusted, insightful teacher, it's God's Word that gives us eons of insight with promises we can "lean on, trust in, and be confident of" according to Proverbs 3:5-6. We have a God who is Sovereign "over every aspect of life" so we can confidently choose to trust Him. However... I've noticed, trust seems to come much more readily in some areas of my life while other areas are more challenging. I've found it interesting to make 2 lists...one list is the "Easy Trust" items, the other is the "Tough Trust" items of life. Whenever I bump into something that causes me to be anxious, I mentally add it to the "Tough Trust" list. Then, I ask God, "what would it take to move this over to "Easy Trust?" This activates healthier brain chemistry and enables wiser processing!
It's amazing how simple truths, verses, lyrics from praise songs or even common sense will challenge my doubts. Simply realizing that God is "sovereign over every aspect of my life" helps me to not "waste energy."
Protecting Peace of Mind & Brain Health...dmc

Thursday, January 21, 2016

To Struggle or Snuggle?

"I want you to be all Mine. I am weaning you from other dependencies. Your security rests in Me alone; not in other people, not in circumstances... I am always before you, beckoning you on - one step at a time." (22)
When God is in the process of "weaning" us from "all other dependencies" it can seem quite uncomfortable. It reminds me of "weaning" a child from a pacifier. These are the times when we, like small children, feel most vulnerable and insecure. We tend to struggle with being detached from the comfortable and the most familiar.
Specifically, because I tend to be more relational, it has been quite painful to be "weaned" from certain relationships or environments, not because they were bad, but because I had become so attached. The struggle actually became an opportunity for personal growth and insight.
In retrospect, I can see how a God-crafted, risk-laden adventure helped me to shake off a kind of lethargic, comfortable season in my spiritual walk. Thus, I've had to be "more" dependent upon God and less dependent on others. So, I'm learning to change my struggle into a snuggle...with God!
My friend, Melissa, shared the following, which was so insightful I wanted to include it...
She said..."I liked the commentary for Deuteronomy 33:27 in my bible. It says "No storm can destroy us when we take refuge in him. Those without God, however, must be forever cautious". There have been times I was scared of change or even to be bold for God because of "what might happen", but Romans 8:39 gives us the promise that nothing will be able to separate us from His love! So if we live for God what can happen? Obviously my world doesn’t come crumbling down when changes occur or even when I step out of my comfort zone. In fact, I am closer to God in the process because I am leaning on His everlasting arms! Psalm 18:30 "As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him."
How true...Thanks, Melissa!
I am learning daily that my "security rests in Him alone; not in other people, not in circumstances." In the midst of all this, I deeply desire for God to be more and more glorified in more and more dimensions of my life this year. So, rather than struggling with God, I choose to...
Snuggle in Tight...dmc

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Who's Boss?

"Approach this day with awareness of who is Boss... On days when your plans are thwarted, be on the lookout for Me! I may be doing something important in your life, something quite different from what you expected... Simply trust Me and thank Me in advance for the good that will come out of it all... I have plans for you, and they are good." (21)
The Is. 55:9-11 passage, in today's reading, speaks of how God's Word goes out, germinates, sprouts and provides seed and food, accomplishing God's good purposes. When I take God's Word into my life, it can germinate, sprout and ultimately accomplish things that please and glorify God. Good things I would have never dreamed of!
Each day can become another opportunity for me to thank God "in advance for the good that will come out of it all."
Aren't we SO grateful that God is "The Good Boss" who is bigger, stronger and wiser than the enemy!? Only God is able to "make good" on His promise of "a future and a hope." Jer.29:11
In His Good Hands...dmc

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Transformed Face to Face

"Seek My Face, and you will find more than you ever dreamed possible... My Nature is to bless. Your nature is to receive with thanksgiving. This is a true fit... Glorify Me by receiving My blessings gratefully...(expand) your focus to include Me in all your moments. Let nothing dampen your search for Me." (20)
Have you ever scanned a crowd, looking for that one familiar face? It may be your husband's, child's or a dear friend's face...but the search continues until you have located that special face. I clearly recall being in a crowded, tense hospital room, searching for my husband's face, trying to catch his eye to "read" his response, seeking some reassurance, some comfort and consolation.
It's amazing to me what happens when my eyes land on my grand-children's faces. It's like a cheerleader bursts into action inside my heart. What a joy to catch their eye! Even when I'm looking at a picture, their perky little faces can make my heart leap with joy!
We usually know those subtle changes in our mate's face, or in our child's facial expression that communicate volumes, without a word ever being spoken. Similarly, when we seek God's face, we are searching for subtle prompts that will help us to accurately "read" the situation from His perspective.
To be "up close and personal" with Him is to be "face to face" with our incredible Creator! What a privilege...to sense God inviting us to "Seek (His) face!" (Ps. 27:8)
I once heard that "The highest desire of the human heart is to seek His face."
I know that to be true in the awesome, in the awful, in the playful and in the painful.
Transformed & Ever Seeking His Face...dmc

Monday, January 18, 2016

Outweighed in Eternity

"I am leading you along the high road... Your assignment is to follow Me... Learn to trust Me when things go "wrong"... when the path becomes rocky and steep. Breathe deep draughts of My Presence, and hold tightly to My hand. Together we can make it!" (19)
The devo for today highlighted a verse that has mystified me. 2 Cor. 4:17 speaks of how "our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory." (HCSB)
The picture that comes to my mind is of an old fashioned balancing scale, used in a grocery store when I was a child. On one side rests the selected weight, on the other side, the selected produce. The produce is carefully added until the two sides of the scale are level with each other. Thus, one pound of cherries can be accurately determined and purchased at a fair market price.
This passage is contrasting our present afflictions with our eternal glory. According to the Greek, eternal glory will be "in excess and to excess." So, if we could place our present pain (emotional, physical, etc) on one side of the scale and try to balance its weight with the unseen eternal glory God has in store for us, it could not be leveled. Why? Because God has excessively tipped the scale in our favor, giving us "an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory" in exchange for our present pain. In the scales of eternity, glory will exponentially out weigh the distress of our present earthly experience.
However, my physical eyes can see only half the scale. So, I must challenge myself to "focus" on that yet unseen, hidden, eternal, other half of the scale! Somehow God takes the weightiness of the present and exponentially outweighs it in the glorious eternal.
Trusting Him with the Seen & Praising Him for the Unseen...dmc

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mindful Miracles in the Mundane

"Come to Me with a thankful heart, so that you can enjoy My Presence...I can weave miracles into the most mundane day if you keep your focus on Me. Come to Me with all your needs, knowing that My glorious riches are a more-than-adequate supply. Stay in continual communication with me, so that you can live above your circumstances even while you are in the midst of them." (18)
How we perceive a situation makes a HUGE difference in how we will respond and deal with the situation. Research reveals that the hypothalamus region of our brains releases specific neuropeptides in response to specific thoughts we have about what we see and experience. Negative thoughts flood the brain with negative neuropeptides, while positive thoughts wash our minds with positive neuropeptides.
It has been discovered that we can actually become addicted to the neuropeptides we are most often exposed to. Thus, people will manipulate or allow something to happen to get their negative "fix" by intentionally being exposed to or involved with negative people, situations, influences or conversations. They can actually seek to weave mayhem into their daily lives simply because that evokes the destructive neuro-chemical reactions they are use to or hungry for.
God created our hypothalamus and He desires the constructive use of it... responding constructively with positive neuropeptides washing through us. Ephesians 5:26 tells us how speaking God's Word has the power to cleanse us. When we live in thankfulness, "refusing to worry about tomorrow... anticipating abundant blessings (and)... staying in continual communication" with God, we will see Him "weave miracles into the most mundane day."
I believe the miracle of a renewed mind powerfully changes my secret ponderings, my personal perspectives and my ultimate purpose...
To glorify God...dmc

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Thorny Prisons in Our Minds

"Rehearsing your troubles results in experiencing them many times... Do not multiply your suffering in this way! Instead, come to Me, and relax in My Peace."(17)
Today's devo reminded me of the following quote from Dr. Caroline Leaf's research.
"Toxic thoughts...upset the chemical feedback loops in your brain by putting your body into a harmful state...It will weigh down your whole body, mind and spirit...Your brain will grow heavy, with thick memories that release their toxic load and interfere with optimal functioning... Research shows that an enriched environment of thinking positive, healthy thoughts can lead to significant structural changes in the brain's cortex in only four days." (Quote from "Who Switched off my Brain?" Caroline Leaf, p 114-115)
The neurochemistry of our brains can actually make us "healthier and smarter!" I believe one of Satan's secret weapons of attack is tempting God's people to rehearse fears, worries, offenses over and over until our brains are so saturated with toxic chemicals that it alters our outlook, personality, relationships, witness and ultimately our eternal destiny! When we justify ourselves, thus strengthening the negative thoughts, we build "thorny structures" that imprison and poison us.
I believe it is critical that we can become skilled at "taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ." (2 Cor. 10:5) Then, let's equip the next generation to think like an overcomer by modeling the mind of Christ.
Praising my way out of Prison...dmc (See Acts 16:25-26!)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fixing Phantom Fears

"You are surrounded by a sea of problems, but you are face-to-Face with Me, your Peace. As long as you focus on Me, you are safe... The closer you live to me, the safer you are." (16)
Recently we were in a discussion that turned to the "treacherous-looking waves" of the future with all the predictions of economic decline, political unrest and environmental catastrophes. Anxiety was mounting until the conversation turned to Jesus and His promised return. It was like the glow of Peace started to melt the mounting icicles of anxiety in everyone's eyes. Fear has its own distinct freezing effect!
It was another example of what happens when we "fix our eyes" on "the myriad of problems around us, we will sink under the weight" of it all. Jesus' invitation is to keep focused on Him for, "the One who never changes," can calm and steady our hearts.
The next time you have a bad dream and wake up anxious or fearful. Try this...  Refocus your thoughts on Jesus.  Even thoughts that stem from dream induced  "phantom"  fears will melt away in the Presence of Jesus!
Being able and willing to refocus thoughts is so beneficial. It enables us to avoid the hazards of being dangerously distracted. Distractions (including any problem, burden, fear, temptation, addiction, resentment, even pain) can basically trap us, hindering our progress, and certainly, our peace!
While "the future is a phantom, seeking to spook us," Proverbs 31:25 tells us we can be "clothed with strength and dignity," able to "laugh at the days to come."
To fix all "phantoms" I must be...
Firmly Fixed on Jesus...dmc

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Fully Known, Fully Loved

"I see straight through you, into the depths of your being... Rejoice in the relief of being fully understood. Talk to me about your struggles and feelings of inadequacy. Little by little, I will transform your weaknesses into strengths... your relationship with Me is saturated in grace." (15)
What a strange yet wonderful reality, to be fully known, every detail - from before conception and on. (Ps. 139:13-16) He knows me much better than I know myself. He's not mystified, confused or put off by my shortcomings. He REALLY "gets it" when it comes to who I REALLY am! Yet He loves me! That's absolutely amazing!! Why?
Because I know enough about myself to be thoroughly unimpressed with myself. There's a laundry list of things I'd like to change or that I wish could be lifted from my life. That's exactly when I am in the "optimal condition for being filled with (His) peace." In fact, each time I struggle with "feelings of inadequacy" I can unload the burden of my weaknesses through honest confession. I lean harder into Him. He holds tighter onto me. Suddenly, I discover He's hugged the heaviness right out of me!
Sharing His Hugs...dmc

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Lens for Life

"Try to view each day as an adventure, carefully planned out by your Guide...be attentive to Me... Thank Me for this day of life, recognizing that it is a precious, unrepeatable gift... I am with you each moment, whether you sense My Presence or not...the safest place to be is by My side." (14)
It is interesting to me that His Presence will distinguish us from others (see yesterday's blog), yet we may not always sense His Presence! Today's devo challenges us to trust that He is with us each moment, whether we sense His Presence or not. Then, the next sentence nails the critical difference, in my life... "A thankful, trusting attitude helps you to see events in your life from My perspective."
Seeing life from His Perspective...that's the Lens for Life I most desire. It refocuses life and clears the fog. "A thankful, trusting attitude!" It's easy for me to remember to be thankful for the big blessings and to trust Him with all the little things. However, it's another thing to be thankful even for the littlest things and to be trusting even in the biggest things. Thankful for the most insignificant and trusting in the most significant. To be full of thanks and full of trust - that's a full and rewarding life - the "abundant life" - the life Jesus died for us to live!
Refocused & Renewed....dmc

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Distinguished People

"To be prepared for whatever you will encounter today: Spend quality time with Me... I will thoroughly equip you for the journey. My living Presence is your Companion each step of the way. Stay in continual communication with me, whispering My Name whenever you need to redirect your thoughts." (13)
Ah, yes...this makes a huge difference in my day! Having a "partner" who's in the middle of everything I'm doing.
In fact, do you know what is supposed to distinguish us from all other people? Ex.33:14-16 tells us...His Presence! Walking through our day "in His Presence" distinguishes us from all others who are also walking through this day around us.
So, what's the secret to staying in His Presence? Jesus tells us in John 15:4-7 we are to "remain in (Him.)" "Stay in communication with Me, whispering My Name, whenever you need to redirect your thoughts. Thus you can walk through this day with your focus on Me."
That's a practical, tangible way we can activate our minds' incredible, God-given ability to "Click it Forward" straight into His Presence! (from yesterday's blog)
The simple practice of "remaining in Him," or "whispering His Name," has redirected my life so many times... impacting my thoughts, conversations and choices. Hopefully...impacting other people! I love it when my day allows me to bump into another "distinguished person" who's also walking out their day...
In His Presence...dmc

Monday, January 11, 2016

The "Click it Forward" Switch

"Trust Me...when you bring Me prayer requests, lay out your concerns before Me... Then thank Me for the answers that I have set into motion long before you can discern results. When your requests come to mind again, continue to thank Me for the answers that are on the way...
Thankful prayers keep your focus on My Presence and My promises."
Remember the "Pay it Forward" movie that inspired us to "change the world" with acts of kindness? Brain science has discovered we can be kind, to others and to our own minds, by the way we respond to the issues of life. "Click it Forward" refers to the way we can intentionally activate a little switch-like feature in our brain to move from stress-filled responses to peace-filled responses.
The reading today inspires us to do exactly that! Once we've presented our concerns in prayer, then when "requests come to mind again" thank God for the "answers that are on the way." Rehearsing concerns keeps our minds stuck in lower level thinking that holds us in "a state of tension," minimizing our ability to think creatively and live productively.
However, rehearsing thankfulness means that when I'm kind to my own mind, it'll be much easier for me to be kind to the rest of mankind! This is one of the most impacting skills we can mentor into the next generation. It's important for us to 'gift' the younger ones around us through an example of how to verbally, behaviorally and emotionally shift or click it forward.
The temptation is to fall backward and to get stuck in a slump that side-tracks us from "His divine power that has given us everything we need for life and godliness." (2 Peter 1:3)
"Clicking it Forward" helps me to "Pay it Forward" and keeps me...
Gratefully Moving Forward...dmc

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Timeless Treasury

"Every time you affirm your trust in Me, you put a coin into My treasury. Thus you build up equity... I keep safely in My heart all trust invested in Me, with interest compounded continuously... Store up for yourself treasure in heaven. This practice will keep you in My Peace." (11)
What a concept! Banking our "trust" eternally..."storing up treasure in heaven." Trust has a way of exponentially compounding! We've discovered trusting God in the fundamentals of His Word spills over into the fundamentals of daily life. When we trust Him in our thoughts, time, talents, tithe and all earthly treasures, He exponentially invests Himself back into us.
Have you noticed how trouble also has a way of exponentially compounding!?
Matt. 6:24-34 nails it well. I love this passage because it reminds me that a life devoted to money (or self interest) is filled with anxiety and worry. A life devoted to God (or eternal interest) is filled with peace and provision.
Oh, yes, the storms will come, but our "trust balance will be sufficient to see us through." That's just how trustworthy our God is!
Building Treasure in His Timeless Treasury...dmc

Saturday, January 9, 2016


"I am with you and for you. When you decide on a course of action that is in line with My will, nothing in heaven or on earth can stop you...never give up! With My help, you can overcome any obstacle." (10)
Omnipotent! Omniscient! Omnipresent!
Three words describing the kind of God we have!
Basically, He is All Powerful, All Knowing, All There!
When we are intentionally pacing our lives with Him, we are on a daily, moment by moment adventure. I am Omni-Amazed! We can be paced and protected by an absolutely awesome God!


Friday, January 8, 2016

The Hope Rope

"Hope in Me, and you will be protected from depression and self-pity. Hope is like a golden cord connecting you to heaven. The more you cling to this cord, the more I bear the weight of your burdens." (9)
Today's devotional speaks of the "golden cord connecting (us) to heaven." This reminded me of when God taught me HOW to wait on Him. Isaiah 40:31 says "those who wait on the Lord" will experience renewed strength! That was not always my experience! I would do the "wait & worry" thing, like one does in the "waiting room" of the hospital anticipating bad news!
God wants us to experience another type of waiting.  He wants us to wait with HOPE and confidence in Him! Confidence in His Majesty (having all power) and His Mercy (being infinitely tender.) I had to learn to weave His Majesty and His Mercy into my "wait." I pictured it much like a braided "cord of three strands." (Ecc.4:12) I am the weak, helpless strand clinging to the sturdy strands of His Majesty and His Mercy! Result? I would experience a certain sense of His "renewed strength!" (Is.40:31)
I made up the following little song I now sing to myself, prompting me to wait with HOPE! It really helps because when I "cling" I tend to feel "connected to heaven" in the midst of my "wait"!
Hope is a rope,
Consisting of Three.
God's awesome Majesty,
His Mercy and Me!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Planted in Praise

"It is impossible to praise Me or thank Me too much... I inhabit the praises of My people... (whether it is) a spontaneous overflow of Joy (or a) disciplined measured act of your will. (It's) the royal road to draw near Me...(even) when adversity strikes... thank Me anyway." (8)
It's much easier to be thankful when life is filled with rich blessings, but it's a whole different thing to be thankful when life is overflowing with adversity or pain. Whether it is an "overflow of joy" or a decisive "disciplined measured act of your will" in adversity, God's presence seems to rest on grateful people. I like the way Isaiah says that "all who see them will recognize that they are a people the Lord has blessed." Why? Because thankful hearts are like "gardens enabling what is sown to spring up." (Is. 61:9&11)
When we lived up north, I was always amazed, in early spring, when tulips would brilliantly burst through the earth's snowy blanket! I've experienced times, when I felt emotionally frozen in icy cold situations, where just quietly praising Jesus or speaking His Name inside my heart would change the whole climate of my soul. It was like refreshing tulips bursting through mounds of snow in wintry circumstances! So, I will keep planting and praising...
Until Tulips Appear...dmc

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

From a Wide Eternal Angle

"I am able to do far beyond all that you ask or imagine... Do not be discouraged by the fact that many of your prayers are yet unanswered. Time is a trainer, teaching you to wait upon Me, to trust Me... Instead of letting difficulties draw you into worrying, try to view them as setting the scene for My glorious intervention. Keep your eyes and your mind wide open to all that I am doing in your life." (7)
Yesterday's blog referenced our unrealized dreams and today's devotional mentions unanswered prayers. So often the two go together... our dreams or desires become the motivation for our prayers. Then, when those prayers seem to go unanswered, or are denied, we can be tempted to doubt God's faithfulness and love. This is when I have to remind myself that human perspective falls so short of Divine perspective.
God's Sovereignty (January 4 blog) gives Him the grand and glorious BIG picture. So, just when I'm tempted to worry, thinking He's unaware or doesn't care, I need to open my eyes, my heart and my mind to His "BIG picture" perspective. It makes so much sense... to be trained NOW to trust the One I'll be serving and spending all eternity with!
That inspires me to be even more thankful... He is "setting the scene for (His) glorious intervention" in the very ordinary daily-ness of my life.  I must remember... He's preparing me for my extra-ordinary future!
Adjusting my Perspective...dmc

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Dreams, Desires & Deep Dependence

"You can achieve the victorious life through deep dependence on Me. People usually associate victory with success: not falling or stumbling, not making mistakes... (However) it is through problems and failure, weakness and neediness, that you learn to rely on Me...
Invite Me to plant My desire within you. I may infuse within you a dream that seems far beyond your reach... deepening your dependence (even more) on Me." (6)

Many of us have come to know just how painful it is to be weak, flawed, hindered or mistaken in some way. Those of us who tend to be perfectionistic are more likely to be deeply disappointed with ourselves when we fail and can even give up on our God-inspired dreams!
In recent years I have come into a new dimension of personal peace over this. Realizing that some of my desires will most likely not be realized in this life, I simply trust they will somehow be honored in the next! I've decided I would rather life out my earthly life believing and making the most of even the worst, than to simply give up altogether. After all, some dreams may be more than just MY dreams... they may be God-inspired!
In this human journey, I can choose to experience a divinely inspired "growth spurt" each time I face a disappointment... discovering a gem of insight, gleaning a lesson learned, or a reason to be thankful in any life experience, even in the realization of dreams. This has been a helpful way to discover the secret joys and the profound peace of a life deeply dependent on Jesus.
Paul says he will boast in the things that reveal his weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest on him, delighting in weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and difficulties. (2 Cor. 12:9-10)
Well, I may not be quite there yet, however I am...
Deeply Dependent & Deeply Grateful...dmc

Monday, January 4, 2016

The "So-Reign" Challenge

"I want you to learn a new habit. Try saying, "I trust You, Jesus" in response to whatever happens to you... Ponder the depth and breadth of My Love for you... Acknowledging My sovereign control over the universe...(helps) fear lose its grip on you. Adverse circumstances become growth opportunities when you affirm your trust in Me no matter what." (5)
Saying, "I trust You, Jesus" no matter what happens, was demonstrated to me by an older lady sitting next to me in a delayed airplane. We both were going to miss our connections on the other end. I had been speaking at a retreat, exhausted, ready to get home. She was meeting family, following the death of her husband. In the midst of my frustration she sweetly said, "Either God is Sovereign, or He is not." (Trusting God can be such a challenge, even for a retreat speaker!) God comforted my heart through that precious grieving lady. Because there were more than 3 of us trying to make it back to Indy on the same flight, they held our connecting plane, we all boarded and made our final destination ON TIME! Trusting comes easier as I'm...
Letting a Sovereign God "So Reign" in my life...dmc

Sunday, January 3, 2016

His Presence Benefits Our Brains

"Refresh yourself in the Peace of My Presence... I am both with you and within you.. In Me you may have confident Peace." (4)
Wow, today's devotional thoughts about the benefits of peace in His presence prompted me to review some of my recent research on brain imaging. Numerous studies have documented the differences between a brain at peace (through meditation and prayer) verses a "toxic" brain "weighed down with problems and unresolved issues." The benefits of staying in His presence even in the midst of our busy lives are huge!
He is truly our "burden-bearer." He has "conquered the world and deprived it of power to harm" us (including our brains!) A peaceful mind is a much healthier mind!
Enjoying peace of mind in His presence...dmc

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Soaking at His Feet

"Relax in My healing Presence...Let the Light of My Presence soak into you, as you focus your thoughts on Me... This sacrifice of time pleases Me and strengthens you. Do not skimp on our time together." (3)
Resisting the "rat race" of life long enough to be refreshed and renewed in His presence...is a discipline of time and a discipline of focus. I have discovered my greater challenge is to discipline my racing thoughts to "relax in His presence." I like the concept of letting the Light of His Presence "soak into" every thought! The power of His "Healing Presence" can radically override my anxious thoughts!
When I was in the midst of physical therapy following foot surgery. Several parts of therapy were not real pleasant... plunging my foot into icy cold water, then into nearly hot water... back and forth. Also, slowly pushing my toes forward, then backward, to increase the range of motion. Not pleasant, but profitable! How did I know? Because this therapy had worked well for thousands of other patients. Also, the doctor, who was highly skilled and experienced, was confident and encouraged me to keep plunging, soaking and stretching. So, I continued plunging, soaking and stretching... and it definitely proved to be the wiser, "better" way!
Lord, help me to make the "better choice" to plunge, soak and stretch my soul in You every day.
Hanging Out at His Feet...dmc

Friday, January 1, 2016

No Attention Deficit Disorder!

"Come to me with a teachable spirit, eager to be changed. A close walk with Me is a life of continual newness...I am fully attentive to you. I see you with a steady eye, because My attention span is infinite. I know and understand you completely." (2)
Ever wondered if God is fully aware, if He sees, if He cares? What a blessing to know that we have an attentive God! He has no problem with Attention Deficit Disorder! What a comfort to know that His "steady eye" carefully and lovingly watches over us. His "attention span is infinite" and His plans are to bless us!  Have a Happy, Heaven-focused New Year!
Desiring to be Teachable and Transformed...dmc